Wednesday, August 12, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Pregnancy and Obesity

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." 

                                                                                      --Desmond Tutu

Kids at a Growing Healthy Kids workshop in Vero Beach, Florida

Recently I had the honor to speak with Kim Colvin who is studying at Frontier Nursing University to become a certified nurse midwife.  Kim contacted me because of her interest in childhood obesity in relation to her current studies to be a health care practitioner serving women who are pregnant. 

After we talked about how important it is for women who thinking about becoming pregnant to be aware of their own weight and their eating habits, I asked Kim if she would contribute to the readers of WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS as our first guest author.  Here are her words for your consideration:

Childhood obesity continues to be a major public health concern in the US. According to national data, one-third of children and adolescents aged 2–19 years were overweight (16.6%) or obese (18.5%) in 2015–2016 (LeWinn et al., 2020). Children who are overweight or obese are not only more likely to be overweight or obese as adults, but also have increased risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and psychological or behavioral consequences, such as anxiety, depression, stress, and social withdrawal (LeWinn et al., 2020). Identifying the early risk factors of childhood obesity will guide prevention efforts to reduce this burden and promote long-term health. 


Studies have shown that higher maternal fast food pattern is significantly associated with a greater risk of childhood obesity in their unborn children (LeWinn et al., 2020). These findings further highlight the important role of maternal diet during pregnancy in child growth and obesity risk. Metabolic changes caused by obesity in the mother may influence fetal programming and the development of obesity in their unborn children (LeWinn et al., 2020). 


Maintaining a healthy diet is key to your overall health during pregnancy. Learning what foods are most nutritious for you and your baby during pregnancy is the key to a healthy child. Healthy amounts of vitamins, iron, calcium, protein, fiber, unsaturated fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy foods, fresh nuts and grains, lean meats, poultry and fish is the key to healthier choices that can decrease the risk of obesity in children. Avoiding fast food, fried food and processed food will enhance a healthy diet and can decrease the risk of developing comorbidities as a child and as an adult. Healthy eating habits can help raise healthy children.


With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.